Super Rugby: And Then There Were Eight

SUPER RUGBY QUARTER-FINALISTS

We had to wait until the very last day of the Super Rugby regular season for the quarterfinalists to be confirmed. When the last weekend kicked off there were still three contenders for the last of the wildcard entries into the playoffs. Any of the Rebels, and Sharks, and outsiders Brumbies, were still in contention for the last spot.

Final finishing positions in the top four were also still being contested. At least, second through to fourth were still contested. The Crusaders could happily conceded their last game and still sit at the top of the overall log.

Finally, After 19 Rounds, 16 games for each team, and 120 matches in total the Super Rugby regular season is done and dusted, the quarter-finalists for the 2018 Super Rugby tournament have been confirmed.

The four quarter-final hosts are the three conference winners – ranked 1 to 3 based on overall log position – and the fourth best team based on total competition points regardless of conference.

The four next best teams based on overall log position – ranked 5 to 8 – will travel for their respective quarter-final matches.

The Crusaders finished the regular season as New Zealand conference winners and the highest ranked team in the tournament thanks to 14 wins, while in the South African conference the winner was determined when the Lions beat the Bulls on Saturday.

In the Australian conference, the Waratahs finished top despite a loss to the Brumbies in their final fixture.

The last quarter-final host was also determined on the last weekend of action when the Hurricanes, despite a loss to the Chiefs, finished as the best wildcard team to be ranked fourth at the end of the regular season.

The four wildcards earning quarter-final spots after finishing ranked 5 to 8 are the Chiefs, Highlanders, Jaguares (who make their Super Rugby finals debut) and Sharks who all won in the last week of the tournament to cement their places.

SUPER RUGBY QUARTER-FINALISTS

  1. Crusaders– New Zealand Conference Winners
    2. Lions – South African Conference Winners
    3. Waratahs – Australian Conference Winners
    4. Hurricanes
    5. Chiefs
    6. Highlanders
    7. Jaguares
    8. Sharks

2018 QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

QF1: Crusaders [1] versus Sharks [8]

QF2: Hurricanes [4] versus Chiefs [5]

QF3: Lions [2] versus Jaguares [7]

QF4: Waratahs [3] versus Highlanders [6]

Quarterfinal SCHEDULE

Fri July 20: Hurricanes v Chiefs, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Sat July 21: Crusaders v Sharks, AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Sat July 21: Waratahs v Highlanders, Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Sat July 21 Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg